Union Group Stages Countrywide Protest in San Francisco

December 19, 2007 No Comments »

Labor union “Unite Here” held a protest outside Countrywide’s financial center in San Francisco today, expanding their ongoing “Don’t Deposit at Countrywide” campaign.

Protestors held signs that read “Don’t feed the bank that bites you” and passed out leaflets to passer-bys with the message, “Don’t Feed the Animals.”

The group wants Countrywide to help the scores of at-risk borrowers who are already behind on their mortgage payments, a group the union believes will be ignored in favor of those who face future interest rate resets.

Costumed demonstrators included a man wearing a pig mask with a smoking cigar representing the top U.S. mortgage lender, another dressed as the “Foreclosure Vulture,” and one appearing as the “Predatory Loan Shark.”

“Many people agree we need to pressure Countrywide to do more to help borrowers because they think Countrywide’s efforts have been too little, too late,” said Unite Here research analyst Harlan Kung, in a press release.

Despite the protests, retail deposits continue to grow at Countrywide Bank, totaling $31 billion at the end of November, up from $29 billion last month and $24 billion at the end of November 2006.

In a third quarter investor call earlier this year, CEO Angelo Mozilo announced plans to open 50 more banking centers by year end in an effort to boost deposits to fund loans held on the company’s books.

Unite Here represents more than 450,000 workers in the apparel manufacturing, hotel, restaurant and retail industries.

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